Zurich Coronavirus status and updates

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Latest Updates

04.04.2020 – Current Coronavirus Positive Test and Death Numbers in Switzerland and Zurich

Federal Office of Public Health Confirmed in Switzerland   04.4.2020, 15:00:

  • Number of cases Tested positive: 19,629
  • Number of cases Tested positive in canton of Zurich: 2420 
    • Median age 51 years old 
  • Number who have died in Switzerland: 538
  • Number who have died in the canton of Zurich: 41
    • (average aged 83.5 – see separate report for ages as new reporting style introduced today by Zurich Canton Health)
Zurich – 194 people who tested positive are undergoing hospital treatment, 59 of whom are receiving artificial respiration. 

05.04.2020 02:12 Switzerland drop to 10th place FINALLY

04.04.2020 Switzerland Rate Per 100,000

04.04.2020 – Insta, Balcony Parties and more – it is Saturday Night!

ZURICH  – Residents of Zurich will honour the rules in many locations and hold a party on their balcony or in their garden with their neighbours doing similar. Someone plays music, you hang out on your balcony and share the experience for a few hours respecting social distance with your neighbours.

Remember to respect those who sleep earlier than you and try to keep the music low from 10pm to avoid a complaint from your neighbour. 

Unfortunately for some though, a private party is planned in the belief that no-one will know. On Friday night (3rd April) a dozen or so people got together in an apartment in Bülach, they received a visit and a fine from the Zurich cantonal police.

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Keep yourself up to date with the group news and events

Past Updates

03.04.2020 Switzerland Corona Virus Cases and Infections

03.04.2020 Zurich Corona Virus Cases and Infections

03.04.2020 – Over 85 – DNR – Do not resuscitate and no care policy if ICU overwhelmed

Because of the corona pandemic, special guidelines are currently in force in Switzerland:

If intensive care beds are no longer available, persons over 85 years of age should no longer receive intensive medical care.

Commonly known as DNR more information can be found here.

More information on the policy discussion on SRF.ch  (German language)

02.04.2020 – Current Coronavirus Positive Test and Death Numbers in Switzerland and Zurich

Federal Office of Public Health Confirmed in Switzerland   02.4.2020, 08:00:

  • Number of cases Tested positive: 18,,267
  • Number of cases Tested positive in canton of Zurich: 1720 
  • Number who have died in Switzerland: 432
  • Number who have died in the canton of Zurich: 36
    • (aged 65, 70, 74, 75, 75, 77, 78, 78, 78, 80, 80, 80, 80, 80, 82, 82, 82, 83, 84, 85, 85, 85, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 89, 90, 91, 92, 94, 96, 96, 97, 97)
Zurich – 200 people who tested positive are undergoing hospital treatment, 53 of whom are receiving artificial respiration. 

02.04.2020 – Covid-19 Coronavirus restrictions may apply to early summer 

Switzerland – The Federal Health Authority (bag.ch)

The Swiss government believes that the peak of the coronavirus crisis is likely to be in the early stages of summer. 

In a press conference, the Swiss communicable diseases division lead Daniel Koch said that “I am reluctant to make a forecast considering the unpredictable nature of the virus.”

It was likely to peak in the early stages of summer.

Interior Minister Alain Berset said during the press conference that even a decrease in the daily number of confirmed infections would not signal the end of the crisis. It is merely an indicator. Measures must remain  in place to mitigate its spread.

Berset said that vulnerable groups in the population remained at risk even if the number of infections started to subside. 

02.04.2020 – Viagra sold now without prescription – sold out at many pharmacies 

Switzerland – The Federal Health Authority (bag.ch) announced the relaxation of controls on the sale of Viagra and other products. Almost immediately, pharmacies enjoyed a big uptick in visits and sales, especially to those defined as “young men.”

This reflects the national import of generic drugs and “potency products” for men because they are significantly cheaper abroad than in Switzerland. Most are confiscated because the medicines are purchased in such volumes it is difficult to suggest they are for “personal use.”

Is this a coronavirus lock-down boredom issue, or simply spring coming early …. literally or some. Time will tell. 

One source confirmed the “new high” was Vodka, Red Bull and a Viagra pill – a regular practice in his group of friends.

March 2020 Coronavirus Zurich Past Updates

31.03.2020 – Unispital to test all new patients for Coronavirus 

ZURICH – The University Hospital of Zurich wants to test all patients, including those without symptoms, in order to increase safety for employees and patients.

To avoid someone testing negative one day and positive another, patients will be retested during a long stay. The university hospital has a capacity of up to 500 tests per day.

Once tested, patients will be assumed to be positive and isolated until the test results are known. 

30.03.2020 – Current Coronavirus Positive Test and Death Numbers in Switzerland and Zurich

Federal Office of Public Health Confirmed in Switzerland   30.3.2020, 12:00:

  • Number of cases Tested positive: 15,475
  • Number of cases Tested positive in canton of Zurich: 1720 
  • Number who have died in Switzerland: 295
  • Number who have died in the canton of Zurich: 15
    • (aged 75, 78, 78, 78, 80, 80, 84, 85, 87, 88, 90, 91, 94, 96, 97)
Zurich – 187 people who tested positive are undergoing hospital treatment, 42 of whom are receiving artificial respiration. 

Zurich figures not adjusted since last report due to time lag in reporting and this post.

29.03.2020 – Novartis CEO says Malaria drug is biggest hope against coronavirus

ZURICH (Reuters) – Novartis Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan said his Sandoz generics unit’s malaria, lupus and arthritis drug hydroxychloroquine is the company’s biggest hope against the coronavirus, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported on Sunday.

Novartis has pledged to donate 130 million doses and is supporting clinical trials needed before the medicine, which U.S. President Donald Trump also has been promoting, can be approved for use against the coronavirus.

Other companies including Bayer and Teva have also agreed to donate hydroxychloroquine or similar drugs, while Gilead Sciences is testing its experimental drug remdesivir against coronavirus.

“Pre-clinical studies in animals as well as the first data from clinical studies show that hydroxychloroquine kills the coronavirus,” Narasimhan told the newspaper. “We’re working with Swiss hospitals on possible treatment protocols for the clinical use of the drug, but it’s too early to say anything definitively.”

He said the company is currently looking for additional active drug ingredients to make more hydroxychloroquine, should clinical trials be successful.

Narasimhan said three other Novartis drugs – Jakavi for cancer, multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya and fever drug Ilaris – are being studied for their effect on complications related to COVID-19, the newspaper reported. This follows separate efforts to re-purpose drugs made by companies including Roche and Sanofi to treat complications related to the disease.

Link to Reuters healthcare article

29.03.2020 – Zurich Pride cancelled or possibly postponed until later this year

Switzerland’s largest political LGBTIQ event will not take place June 2020 because of the uncertainties surrounding the corona virus, the Zurich Pride Board of Directors announced. “I am sad and I find it very difficult But it is the only sensible thing to do in the current situation, it is our health that is at stake,” says the President of the association, Lea Herzig.

The board is currently looking for a replacement date in late summer/autumn. The decision was also made because of the responsibility towards partners such as other LGBTIQ associations, stand operators or demo participants. Despite the postponement of the festival weekend, the organizers want to try to connect the community in June in the best possible way.

Please visit Zurich Pride association’s website

29.03.2020 – Lausanne rings historic 16th-century warning bell for the corona virus threat

Renato Hausler shouts out the hour from the top of Lausanne Cathedral then sounds a centuries-old warning bell, rung only when the normally-tranquil Swiss city is facing peril.

The nightwatchman is ringing La Clemence, a bell made in 1518, to call for mutual solidarity among the Lausannois in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, Hausler told AFP.

Its 3.4 tonnes of steel make a hell of a din which cuts through the still night air, above the city and out over Lake Geneva.

Its C note rings in harmony with those of Marie-Madeleine, Lombard and the four other bells hanging in the tower.

Standing in his felt hat with a lantern to light the way, Hausler peals the bell with three strikes, a pause, six strikes, another pause, then repeats the pattern.

Every night without fail, Hausler or one of his stand-ins calls out the hour from 10:00pm to 2:00am, north, south east and west from the bell tower, up 153 stone steps from the cathedral floor.

Lausanne is one of the last places in Europe that still has a nightwatchman as a living timekeeper. Hausler has been doing the job full-time since 2002.

Besides Lausanne, only six other European cities are thought to keep up a nightly watch: Annaberg, Celle and Nordlingen in Germany; Ripon in Britain; Krakow in Poland, and Ystad in Sweden.

To read full article on France24.com

29.03.2020 – Swiss retail suffering from past market leadership

Swiss retailer Coop is hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, despite the panic buying episodes.

“We now have a third fewer customers in the supermarkets,” said Coop boss Joos Sutter in an interview with the “SonntagsZeitung”.

One issue is the retail store sharing space with home or clothing outlets in the Co-Op brand. Another is the mix of non-food business and the need to close over 900 non-food outlets. 

Over 10,000 employees were denied work from one day to the next in their brand outlets such as  Fust, Interdiscount, Bau Hobby or Bodyshop. A number of staff could be re-assigned to the food store operations but short-term working or redundancies are expected.

No news was found regarding an uptick in their online ordering business volumes which of course offset their feet in the street store purchases.

29.03.2020 Switzerland National Corona Virus Statistics

Corona Virus – Switzerland Death and Age

Information provided by BAG.CH – Covid-19 reported deaths and the age profiles as at 29.03.2020 08:00
There may be deviations in the total numbers in this table. The reasons are missing age or gender information.
Age BandMaleFemaleTotal
30 – 39011
40 – 49101
50 – 59347
60 – 6914418
70 – 79412465


Switzerland Coronavirus – Age and Hospitalisation

Age and gender distribution of hospitalized COVID-19 cases since
Introduction of mandatory reporting in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein – figures subject to change and fluctuation in reporting.
Age MaleFemaleTotal
0 – 99615
10 -19639
20 – 29312152
30 – 39383068
40- 496641107
50 – 5913588223
60 – 6915786243
70 – 79205149354


Switzerland Confirmed Cases – Selected Cantons

The table is a snapshot for those members interested in the number of confirmed cases and the rate per 100’000 residents. There is a lag in sourcing this information provided by the Federal authorities – expect variations.
CantonConfirmed CasesIncidence Per 100,000
Ticino 1823515.9
Vaud (Lausanne)3091386.8
Basel City684351.2
Valais ( Sion / Visp)880255.8

Source for all tables: BAG.ch


28.03.2020 – Current Coronavirus Positive Test and Death Numbers in Switzerland and Zurich

  • Number of cases Tested positive: 14,336
  • Number of cases Tested positive in canton of Zurich: 1720 
  • Number who have died in Switzerland: 257
  • Number who have died in the canton of Zurich: 15
    • (aged 75, 78, 78, 78, 80, 80, 84, 85, 87, 88, 90, 91, 94, 96, 97)
Zurich – 187 people who tested positive are undergoing hospital treatment, 42 of whom are receiving artificial respiration.

28.03.2020 – Canton Health Department ramps up for expected surge and the face mask need

In order to be prepared to supply healthcare and front line personnel for the expected rush to the hospitals, the Health Directorate has strengthened its team and is building a dedicated resource pool for health professionals. 

Hospitals can use this pool to request additional staff quickly and easily. The fast response system and process will ensure medical care even in the event of a rapid increase or surge in hospitalised corona virus cases. 

Healthcare professionals wishing to register to be part of the pool can apply here.

The Healthcare Directorate has in anticipation of a high increase in demand purchased a machine that can automatically produce up to 32,000 FFP2 protective masks a day. It will be ready and in production during the second half of April. 

28.03.2020 – French patients admitted to Bernese and other Swiss hospitals

Canton Bern offers more places for patients from abroad to help ease the pressure in Alsace. Geneva, Fribourg, Jura, Basel City, Basel Land, Aargau are also helping France. 

As of today, there is total of 20 foreign patients were in Swiss hospitals according to an announcement by Frédéric Journes, the French ambassador to Switzerland, on Twitter.

28.03.2020 – Swiss army recruits rebel

The recruits are upset because they cannot go home at the weekend, the lack of protective equipment and because more recruits are becoming infected with the virus.

Close to 10% of the military militia is now in quarantine and the recruits for the first time in living memory petitioned for the recruit schools to be closed.

The petition fell on deaf ears, the military leadership responded by saying “The army is working for the country and its people on behalf of the Federal Council. We are urgently needed in the health sector, but also in the security area”

28.03.2020 – Social Distancing – No way, it is Saturday and the sun is shining!

Let us keep this short, everyone was out all over Switzerland and few people were actually taking essential shopping trips. The loose definition of what constitutes “going out to exercise” means Federal Councillor Alain Berset opened the door to abuse.

The sunny weather on Saturday meant that there was no stopping many, the Lake Zurich ferry was really busy as people travelled to and from Horgen and Meilen.

Car parks near lakes were full across Switzerland  as people ignored the government advice. Few bothered to care about social distance rules as they hiked or cycled. One report in 20Minuten alluded to a car park with 100+ cars in it.

Elsewhere local newspapers received mobile phone clips from readers with groups playing sports, crowded pathways and a lot more. 

The evening parties happened behind closed doors, much of which was shared on Facebook and Instagram.  

Health Minister Alain Berset will be called upon to propose effective measures to address his belief in human nature and conformity, together with it and his failure.

He will no doubt seek indicators from the fines being levied by cantonal police and the Swisscom user data tracking and their location behaviour (as reported in the press).

27.03.2020 – Federal announcement  on bank lending easing of some restrictions

Bern, March 27, 2020 – At its meeting on March 27, 2020, the Federal Council approved the request of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) to deactivate the countercyclical capital buffer immediately.

This measure increases the banks’ room for maneuver in lending to cushion the economic consequences in connection with the corona virus.

The countercyclical capital buffer strengthens the resilience of the banking sector if corrections are made as a result of imbalances in the mortgage and real estate markets. At the same time, it counteracts overheating in these markets. It obliges banks to hold additional own funds for mortgage loans for residential properties. The SNB has requested the Federal Council to immediately deactivate the countercyclical capital buffer. This against the background of the extraordinary situation in connection with the spread of the coronavirus. The Federal Council approved the SNB’s proposal at its meeting on March 27, 2020.

This measure increases the banks’ room for maneuver in lending. This allows banks to better meet the needs of households and businesses for credit and liquidity. The measure supports the package of measures adopted by the Federal Council to cushion the economic consequences of the corona virus.

Deactivation can take place because the overheating tendencies on the Swiss mortgage and real estate market are also likely to weaken in the course of the looming recession. It is also important that banks comply with the guidelines of the Swiss Bankers Association regarding minimum requirements for mortgage financing and also the recently amended guideline in the area of ​​investment property when lending. The Federal Council also supports the recommendations made by the SNB and FINMA on distributions and bonuses.

26.03.2020 – Bank run on the Federal emergency funding offer

Companies rushed to get their share of the CHF 20 billion state-backed loans that became available today.

Loans of less than 500,000 francs are interest free and Credit Suisse said it received 2,700 loan applications and had paid out half a billion francs by midday today in a fast-track procedure. Their average payout was over CHF 180,000 and no update was provided as to loan switching from interest-bearing loans to the new cheaper source of loans.  

UBS said it had had 3,000 applications and the post office bank PostFinance which was included in the banks allowed to lend for the first time under the emergency programme, said small businesses were seeking sums from 10,000 to over 200,000 Swiss francs. 

Information on the effectiveness of the measure will be known in some time.

25.03.2020 – Zurich Airport Update 

Services at Zurich Airport are very limited and access to the arrivals Terminal 2 area is limited due to social distancing regulations.

Effect on Fligtht Operations
Operations at Zurich Airport are very limited. Before commencing your journey, we recommend you contact the relevant airline for information regarding the status of your flight and entry regulations to the final and any transit destinations. Be aware that these may change at short notice. There are currently no health checks required for entry or departure.

For more information

23.03.2020 – Current Coronavirus Positive Test and Death Numbers in Switzerland and Zurich

Federal Office of Public Health Confirmed in Switzerland   23.3.2020, 12:00:

  • Number of cases Tested positive: 8,060
  • Number of cases Tested positive in canton of Zurich: 1068 
  • Number who have died: 66
  • Number who have died in the canton of Zurich: 5
    • (aged 78, 80, 88, 96. 97)

23.03.2020 – St Gallen first death and face mask supply

First person aged 86 dies in the canton it was announced this morning by the authorities. 

10 million protective masks made available. The supply of protective masks in Switzerland is guaranteed for a certain period of time. This is due to ten million old hygiene masks being released for use at the weekend despite having passed their expiration date.

These are now being distributed by the army pharmacy, as the Federal Office for Civil Protection (Babs) announced on Monday. This would ease the bottlenecks for these face masks temporarily as more have already been ordered to re-supply stocks.  

21.03.2020 – Current Coronavirus Positive Test and Death Numbers in Switzerland and Zurich

Federal Office of Public Health Confirmed in Switzerland   21.3.2020, 12pm:

  • Number of cases Tested positive: 6113
  • Number of cases Tested positive in canton of Zurich: 773 
  • Number who have died: 56
  • Number who have died in the canton of Zurich: 3

20.03.2020 – FEDERAL MEASURES – Midnight Tonight – No more than 5 people together – Economic Stimulus 

Big Take-Away

As a result of plant closures and slumps in demand, many companies have less and less liquid funds to cover their running costs despite short-time working compensation. The Federal Council will set up a guarantee programme worth CHF 20 billion. Amounts of up to CHF 0.5 million are to be paid out immediately by the banks and 100% guaranteed by the Confederation. Amounts in excess of this should be guaranteed by the Confederation at 85% and require a brief bank examination. The loan amounts of up to CHF 0.5 million should cover over 90% of the companies affected by COVID.

Public Gathering and Civil Update Switzerland

Federal Council bans gatherings of more than five people and is stepping up other measures to try to prevent a surge at hospitals and them becoming overloaded.

Groups of people who do not comply risk a fine of CHF 100. A number of industries are exempted, employers in construction and industry will be required to comply with the federal recommendations on hygiene and spacing.

Companies that cannot comply must close. The Federal Council wants industry to self-manage the situation and not force them into having to impose even more far reaching measures. 

The Federal Council urges the population to stay at home, especially those who are ill or over 65 years of age. Only those who need to go to work, buy food, or to go to the doctor or help someone should go outside.

This behaviour is intended to protect those particularly vulnerable and to prevent the overloading of intensive care units in hospitals.

The failure of the Swiss to adopt and to follow the previous guidelines has resulted in this new ban on gatherings of more than five people in public places, namely in public squares, on footpaths, market places and in parks.

In the case of gatherings of less than five people, a distance of at least two metres must be maintained from other people. The police may impose a fine for non-compliance.

In order to prevent the closure of construction sites and to better protect employees, the Federal Council obliges employers in the building trade and industry to comply with the federal recommendations on hygiene and keeping distances. They must ensure proper controls and practices are put in place. It includes the prevention of groups of more than five people at a time in break rooms or canteens. The cantons have the right to close non-complying businesses down. 

Postal service providers are now allowed to deliver food and everyday items ordered online to the population seven days a week, removing the need for special permits. 

Federal Council decides on greater options for civil defence and use of the armed forces to support the hospitals, local services and private and public institutions and organisations. Their roles and duties will evolve as will their duties in the coming weeks as the corona virus impacts more across Switzerland.

Economic Measures

CHF 32 billion: this is the amount of the package of measures adopted today by the Confederation to mitigate the economic consequences of the coronavirus epidemic.

Main objectives: safeguarding employment, guaranteeing salaries, helping the self-employed, supporting cultural and sporting activities.

Last week, the Federal Council had already adopted measures amounting to CHF 10 billion.

This additional injection is on the table to deal with the economic consequences of the epidemic. It will specifically be used for: 

CHF 20 billion guarantee programme to enable SMEs and sole proprietorships to obtain bridging loans from banks quickly, without fuss and easily.

Companies will be able to defer the payment of social contributions, MwSt (VAT) without having to pay interest on any arrears.

Reduced working hours or short-time working contracts scheme will be extended to include some contract workers, teachers and other employees. The waiting period is abolished and the application procedure will be simplified to speed up payments. More information here.

Cultural organisations and events will receive a first payment of CHF 280 million to prevent lasting damage to Swiss cultural life. Immediate aid for companies, organisers and others in the sector and compensation for cancelled events resulting from the corona virus will be announced soon.

Sports will receive CHF 100 million, CHF 50 million in subsidies to associations, vereins and others who promote on a voluntary basis sports, such as sailing for the disabled and others. The CHF 50 million balance will be offered in repayable loans to professional sports groups and teams. 

20.03.2020 – Switzerland reaches agreement with Germany on medical exports

The Minister of Economic Affairs Guy Parmelin announced this morning that Germany had reached an agreement with Switzerland to allow deliveries of protective medical masks, clothing and other items into Switzerland from 3M and others. Up till now, their export from Germany to Switzerland was deemed illegal according to the German Customs and Excise authorities. 

20.03.2020 – Switzerland insurance – FINMA regulatory discussion

Switzerland’s top insurance companies are in talks with the financial regulator FINMA about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on their capital buffers.

FINMA contacted Swiss Re, Zurich Insurance and Swiss Life amongst others prior to future discussions with the Swiss National Bank and the Federal Government.

The insurers expect a wave of claims related to coronavirus deaths, cancellations and business disruption.

20.03.2020 – Current Coronavirus Positive Test and Death Numbers in Switzerland and Zurich

Federal Office of Public Health Confirmed in Switzerland   20.3.2020, 12pm:

  • Number of cases Tested positive: 4840
  • Confirmed: 4176

Number who have died: 43

19.03.2020 – Status graphics above for coronavirus Switzerland provided by BAG. 

Link to Twitter feed of for the very latest news:

Bundesamt für #Gesundheit BAG – Office fédéral de la #santépublique OFSP – Ufficio federale della #sanitàpubblica UFSP

Image 1 shows Zurich at 36.7 cases per 100,000 residents as compared with Ticino (230.9) or Basel-City (145.3). It explains the feeling of being in a lull for the past few weeks anticipating changes before the Federal announcement of Feb 13th “brought it home.” 

Image 3 – blue bar graph reflects testing and whilst it is of some use, there is a lag between reporting and testing making it a useful tool to look back over time.  

Keep yourself up to date with the group news and events

19.03.2020 Rolex shuts all plants in Switzerland citing worst year ever on the horizon.

Rolex shut down all its plants in Switzerland for at least 10 days and it is not alone as Richemont has been heavily discounting second hand Cartier timepieces in a “special” one-week offer on its vintage resale site, Watchfinder.

Swatch will put as much as 70% of its Swiss production staff on reduced working hours by the end of the week.

Read full report on Bloomberg

19.03.2020 Fake calls from fraudsters pretending to be from the Federal Office of Public Health

More and more phone calls are being received by people where the callers say they are from the Federal Office of Public Health. They claim to need information for a survey and make enquiries about the person and their health status or other personal details.

The advice is – BEWARE AND IGNORE – The office of Public Health writes to you or you get an advisory from your insurance company. 

19.03.2020 – Swiss Face Mask Seller – Internet Price Gouger Arrested – Horgen 

The Zurich cantonal police arrested a Swiss man in Horgen on Thursday evening who was offering protective masks on the Internet at inflated prices.

The cantonal police became aware of an advertisement on the Internet where  protective face masks were offered at greatly inflated prices. Their investigations led them quickly to a 18-year-old Swiss suspect who lived in the Horgen area.

They created a sting and met the person offering the masks. The seller confirmed he had 5 face masks and would agree to sell them to the police officer CHF 200. Their actual retail cost was less than CHF 2 each.

The police officer and his colleagues quickly arrested the price gauger who was trying to take advantage of the corona virus situation. A follow-up search of his property resulted in over 30 or so more masks being found. 

A court case hearing and other measures will follow in the future. 

19.03.2020 – Apprentices will graduate and complete training 

Apprentices in vocational training should be able to complete their training by the end of summer despite the coronavirus crisis. This was decided by all parties involved including the federal government, companies, training providers and the cantons. 

It helps 70,000 apprentices throughout Switzerland to complete their examinations and move forwards without being held back because of the current corona virus situation. More details will follow next month on the practicalities and examination pr certification processes.

15.03.2020 – Current Coronavirus Positive Test and Death Numbers in Switzerland and Zurich

Federal Office of Public Health Confirmed in Switzerland   15.3.2020, 1.15 pm:

  • Number of cases Tested positive: 2200
  • Confirmed: 1563

Reports of active virus positive cases in the cantons of:

Aargau, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Basel Land, Basel Stadt, Bern, Fribourg, Geneva, Glarus, Graubünden, Jura, Lucerne, Neuchâtel, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Solothurn, St. Gallen, Ticino, Thurgau, Vaud, Valais, Zug, Zurich and from the Principality of Liechtenstein.

Number who have died: 14

Majority of the victims had previous medical conditions and were aged over 68.

Number of cases in Zurich: 148 

No deaths

15.03.2020 – Swiss Army prepares to deploy to boost medical staff support and ICU capabilities

Switzerland’s military is getting ready to support the civilian medical community with the deployment of one of its four hospital battalions.

This will add treatment centres for 200 patients to the Swiss hospital bed total. The 600 soldiers will also take some pressure off the civilian medical teams as an expected surge in infections occurs.

The army has quietly been helping to support two hospitals in Ticino since March 9th, now they are ramping up and committing more resource for more cantons across Switzerland. 

In Switzerland there are 82 intensive care units with 950 to 1,000 beds, around 850 of which are equipped with respirators.

The army support adds another 200 critical care stations and beds to the total. 

15.03.2020 – Switzerland President Simonetta Sommaruga makes an appeal

President Simonetta Sommaruga said in the Sunday press “The situation is serious. Now everyone who is involved is needed, every single one of us. It needs solidarity. This includes restricting oneself for some time. If we don’t do that, it will become even more difficult”, she said in an interview with the “SonntagsZeitung.”

She also responded to criticism about the level of testing and congratulated companies on their efforts to support employees working from home or with flexible working. 

The Swiss politicians like their counterparts elsewhere in Europe coming under pressure and criticism. The economic impact is real now and is evidenced by the hoteliers closing their hotels after the winter season ends a little bit earlier than expected. 

The CEO of the Lufthansa subsidiary, Swiss International says he hopes to receive Swiss state aid because of the impact upon the aviation industry and the route closures caused by the corona virus.

15.03.2020 – Germany to close border with Switzerland for non-essential traffic

Germany will close its borders with France, Austria, Luxembourg, Denmark and Switzerland on Monday 16.03.2020 at 8 am.

It will hit the cross border shoppers hard as the closure works to combat the spread of the coronavirus from its neighbours. Goods traffic and commuters will be able to cross the border, subject to an additional control.

Commuters must apply for a permit to cross the border. It must be placed under the windshield and be visible to the control guards and border staff. 

13.03.2020 – Shopping Madness Arrived – Was it a coincidence the timing was similar to the Federal announcement and the wake-up call for local residents? 

Updated 20.03.20 for latest measures and status in store.

13.03.2020 – In the canton of Zurich, 140 people have currently tested positive for the coronavirus (as of 13.3.2020, 17.30 hrs). 11 have recovered

13.03.2020 – Swiss Re staff member in Zurich has tested positive for the coronavirus infection.

This person grows a growing list of local company employees including private bank Pictet in Geneva who also has an employee who tested positive. 

13.03.2020 COVID-19 - Coronavirus - Federal and Canton authorities introduce new measures

13.03.2020 – New measures for businesses – Federal Council announcements

The Federal Council today tightened measures against the coronavirus in order to protect public health and announced support for the affected industries.

The Zurich Canton and City Council welcomes the Federal Council’s decisions and is working to rapidly implement the new measures.

The situation in Switzerland is serious.

For this reason, the Federal Council has tightened up measures to combat the pandemic. New controls and measures are needed to protect the public health system from overloading and Switzerland becoming like Italy. 

13.03.2020 – Education and Schooling

In the canton of Zurich, there will be no lessons in the schools and institutions from next week (Mon 16th March).

The Federal Council has decreed that face-to-face teaching will be completely discontinued throughout Switzerland from Monday 16 March until 4 April 2020.

The Canton of Zurich will extend this measure until after the spring holidays.

According to Silvia Steiner, Director of Education, a childcare service will be available at the primary school level for those children who cannot be looked after at home.

Students at secondary schools will be able to study independently at home starting Monday.

Vocational school (apprenticeship, trade and other) students are expected to work at their training companies instead of attending school or college for their studies.

At university of Zurich, ETH, ZHAW and other education establishments, teaching is expected to be by digital courses, online learning and meetings or study groups. 


The school buildings will remain open.

It is possible – subject to compliance with the hygiene regulations and the rules for “social distancing” – for teachers to work at the schools, to jointly prepare distance learning or to receive support in its technical implementation.

The health of the teachers and of the pupils and their families is the primary objective of the measure.

By reducing direct contact at schools, the transmission of the COVID-19 virus is to be slowed down or reduced, particularly in the young adult population group.

Priority is given to the supervision of the final classes and the implementation of the Matura examinations and the qualification procedure (apprenticeship-final exams).

The achievement of the learning objectives all courses and for university credits should be possible with online, remote and not physical presence in class learning.

13.03.2020 – Zurich Canton – Short Time Working Directive

The coronavirus situation is presenting major challenges to the local economy. Cantonal government will use unemployment insurance and short-time working which have already been used before to safeguard jobs and employment.

Since the end of February in the canton of Zurich, around 550 companies with around 10,000 affected employees have registered short-time work with the Office of Economic and Labour Affairs.

The advance registrations are being processed and further news on the amount of support which will be granted will be made in the coming weeks.

13.03.2020 – Events – Public Gatherings – New Update 

In the Canton of Zurich, all public or private events where 100 or more people are present at the same time are prohibited.

The Zurich Government Council is thus implementing the measures of the Federal Council to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The cantons may grant exceptions if there is an overriding public interest. The Government Council understands this to mean indispensable events such as communal assemblies and meetings of communes and cantonal councils.

In these cases, the Federal Council ordinance requires various measures to be taken to protect participants, especially those who are particularly at risk.

Events with fewer than 100 participants may be held if the following preventive measures are observed:

  • Policies and actions to exclude persons who are ill or who feel ill;
  • Measures are made and actions taken to protect particularly vulnerable people 
  • Announcements and other information is provided to inform the persons present about general protective measures such as hand hygiene, keeping away from others or cough and cold hygiene (in some schools class members upon coughing have been told to go to the washroom to clean up, or if a repeat offender sent home).
  • Adapting room layouts and seating in such a way to allow for social distancing and other hygiene rules to be observed.

The ban on events for 100 or more persons and the prevention measures for events for less than 100 persons apply equally to entertainment and leisure facilities ( museums, sports centres, fitness centres, swimming pools and wellness centres).

Restaurant and bar establishments, discos and nightclubs may not accommodate more than 50 persons at a time, including staff.

The recommendations of the Federal Office of Public Health concerning hygiene and social distancing must be maintained.

For the latest Coronavirus updates for the Canton of Zurich and Zurich in German or French 

13.03.2020 – Zurich zoo to close

The Zurich zoo will close for the foreseeable future after the new Federal directive was announced. The last time Zurich zoo had to be closed was back in 1949 due to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

13.03.2020 – Austria to impose tighter controls on Switzerland

VIENNA, March 13 (Reuters) – Austria will introduce border checks with Switzerland and ban flight connections with France, Spain and Switzerland from Monday to slow the rapidly spreading coronavirus, the government said on Friday.

COVID-19 - Coronavirus - CHF 500 million loss to Swiss tourism and hotel room night stays

09.03.2020 – CHF 500 million Swiss tourism hotel room night impact

The Swiss hotel record of room night stays in January 2020 reflects the tail end to a strong market.  

There were no reductions on Chinese travellers to Switzerland until late January 2020 and the record start to the year for Swiss domestic market of Swiss people staying in Switzerland coincided with this overseas influx.

Hotel overnight stays in January climbed 6.3 per cent to a total of just over 3 million.

You have to look back to 2008 and 1992 for such a total (Federal Statistical Office FSO).

The Chinese New Year was also a factor falling in January having been in February last year.

The countries responsible for the most tourist nights in Switzerland are:

  1. Germany
  2. Switzerland
  3. USA
  4. UK
  5. China
  6. Italy

Then not coming far behind were visitors staying from Brazil, India, Turkey and Thailand.

Looking forward and the outlook from February is very different. Travel restrictions are being imposed and the spread of the virus will make people less likely to travel.  

Switzerland Tourism has placed a value of close to CHF 500 million in lost revenues, it is a budget figure and excludes such events such as the Geneva International Motor show which was cancelled.

09.03.2020 – SMI – The Swiss stock exchange followed all other markets with a sharp drop at the open.

The Swiss Market Index (SMI) lost 6.3 percent to 9,120 points shortly after the opening. The coronavirus crisis, together with the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, sent financial markets worldwide into decline.

It followed the opening in Asia and forward position for the NASDAQ and DOW predicts a 600 to 1000 point opening fall to start the week.

Gold is in demand as are US government bonds despite the yield on 10-year paper falling to a record low of 0.5 percent and below 1 per cent on 30-year government bonds. Heavy re-mortgaging is reported by some US bank analysts as US homeowners take advantage of the low interest rates. 

09.03.2020 – No pay for time off work – Construction Sector

A national electrical company has told its employees that there is no pay if they are quarantined. 

The company is claiming that employees who are quarantined by the authorities and cannot come to work are not entitled to a salary, but instead have to compensate for this time (work hours another time) or take holidays.

This is being disputed by some lawyers and the Swiss Federation of Trade Unions (Schweizerischer Gewerkschaftsbund, SGB). 

The absence of legal case law precedents and decisions by the judges means that a legal challenge is inevitable at some time if more workers are subject to enforced isolation.

09.03.2020 – Avoid rush hour when travelling to work – Federal Council recommendation

The Federal Council has asked for as many people as possible to avoid rush hour travel on trains and trams because of the coronavirus.  The Federal Council has also requested travellers to keep yourself apart or to ensure you have sufficient distance on trains, buses and trams from the other passengers.

The unions have asked employers to be flexible when employees show up for work an hour later, most employers will adopt a flexible working model to accommodate this request.

For those students with Gymi exams this week, this will be difficult as health workers and retail staff find it difficult to work more flexible hours. 

07.03.2020 – Latest Figures and Switzerland still in the top 10 country list

The Federal Office of Public Health today reported that there were 228 confirmed cases in Switzerland and one confirmed death.

Despite its small population size, Switzerland is still a top 10 country on the list for the COVID-19 Coronavirus cases. 

COVID-19 - Coronavirus - No retail shortages of toilet roll, eggs, pasta and more

07.03.2020 – Retail – Shopping clearly no panic this Saturday

Zürich Networking Group members decided to do a quick audit first thing this morning of their local Migros, Denner, Co-Op, Lidl or Aldi. 

All seemed to be well stocked with not just the essentials, there was an abundance of tissues, toilet paper, eggs, pasta and other foodstuffs. 

Normal hand soaps were well stocked and the re-fill sachets were around in good numbers.

It was a check made early on a Saturday from 08:30 to 10:30 in stores in and around:

Enge, Wiedikon, Oerlikon, Altstetten, Seebach, Seefeld, Schlieren, Hottingen, Wallisellen and Witikon

No check of alcohol based disinfectant and face masks were made in local pharmacies. None are planned.

It was a simple check and the Swiss retail supply chain and distribution networks are clearly working and re-stocking is possible without too much fuss.

COVID-19 - Coronavirus - Holidaymakers, international workers and conference attendees impacted

07.03.2020 – Biogen Boston Conference

Overseas conference attendees were affected in Boston with at least eight people from that gathering who have been confirmed as being infected, 4 employees were from the USA, some were from Switzerland. 

The Boston Business Journal reported Friday that up to 175 people may have come into contact with the Biogen employees who have tested positive so far. No information was provided for those in Switzerland. 

07.03.2020 – Grand Princess cruise ship – San Fancisco

Four Swiss nationals are on board the Grand Princess cruise ship that was barred from docking in San Francisco due to the coronavirus.

The Swiss consulate in San Francisco is in contact with the local authorities, who have confirmed to the foreign ministry that four Swiss are on the liner. 

US Vice-President Mike Pence made a public TV press conference announcement and also told passengers on board the cruise ship with about 3,500 passengers and crew on board would be taken to a non-commercial port where everyone on board would be tested.

Pence reported this prior to informing the ship nor its captain so causing a minor ripple of panic on board as those restricted to their cabins saw the news on TV first.

The captain later informed all passengers on board and apologised for not announcing the news himself first because he had been given no update by the US authorities to advise his passengers himself.

View latest from Swiss Federal Department Foreign Affairs on Twitter here 

07.03.2020 – Southern Germany reports more cases as cross-border worker coronavirus transmission concerns increase

The number of coronavirus patients in Germany is now close to 700 and the cases are concentrated in the states of North Rhine Westphalia both the southern states of Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg have over 100 cases each.

Many of the workers living in Germany and working in Switzerland ( known as a Grenzgänger) are unaffected but the local HR managers are watching the trends in case action, home isolation may be needed as a precaution. 

The death toll in France rises to 11 and the French Health Ministry have publicly confirmed that the total number of cases in France has reached 716. The authorities in Geneva are monitoring the situation closely.

COVID-19 - Coronavirus - Compensation of business request following SECO announcement

06.03.2020 – Hotel Owners supported by Federal authorities

Following the announcement last weekend that short-time work and compensation to employers would be made available.

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs ( SECO) have been providing informational updates and HotellerieSuisse  (French / German only) have been informing their members.

The introduction of short-time work is intended to compensate for temporary job losses and to preserve jobs.

It has been used many times during tough economic periods. The use of short-time work allowance provides a form of insurance and a good alternative to layoffs.

The employer saves on the cost of staff turnover and maintains short-term availability through the workforce.

The latest SECO information on eligibility for short-time work qualification can be found here (German copy).

For Hoteliers:

The instrument of short-time compensation (KAE) is confirmed for use in the hotel industry.

It applies to employees whose normal working hours are reduced or stopped altogether.

Short-time work compensation is not payable if the member of staff continues to be on the premises and available and business is slow. time sheets and pay records must clearly state the changes to the work pattern.


Pre-registrations of short-time work must be submitted in writing to the responsible cantonal office (KAST) at least ten days before the start of short-time work.

Cantonal authorities will be responsible for claims, processing and decisions on qualification within the Federal framework.

06.03.2020 – Sex workers and brothel owners seek compensation for loss of business

A number of sex workers have gone public in the local press. They normally enjoy earnings of CHF 3-4000 per week are complaining that now they are earning CHF 400 per week. 

The average fee per visit is CHF 285 based on information in the public domain.

For time based regulated establishments (plus tips, drinks etc)

  • 15 Minutes CHF 100.00
  • 30 Minutes CHF 150.00
  • 45 Minutes CHF 200.00
  • 60 Minutes CHF 300.00

Brothels in Zurich, Basel and Lucerne are reporting in the press a 50% reduction in business volume.

Reasons being quoted by “regulars” and visitors include:  

  • No-longer taking a business trip to Zurich or Switzerland
  • Chinese colleagues who normally request escorts do not feel the escort will “be happy” because they are asian so not seeking to avail themselves of the services. 
  • Intimacy with an escort and being in a relationship, if a problem occurs and an infection then the authorities will know.
  • Banking clients and meetings are just “not happening” 

Those who are self-employed have no employer insurance support for the RAV like all others.

Social assistance is available should the workers decide on a career change.

According to SECO, companies are currently allowed to apply for part-time unemployment for employees to compensate for a drop in productivity.

Licensed brothel owners do not know if they are included in the list having never been traditionally supported by the government.

More Information:

KMU Portal (German / French / Italian – Federal advisory for small business)

State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO

COVID-19 - Coronavirus - Swiss Startup enjoys increased enquiries as AGM voting goes online

06.03.2020 – Publicly listed and other large companies are seeking AGM voting options from Zurich company Sherpany

Online voting at annual shareholder meetings (AGMs) have renewed interest due to the coronavirus outbreak. Investors want safe options as many work in companies where non-essential travel is restricted. 

Tobias Haeckermann, CEO of tech company Sherpany can be contacted by emai or you can contact his office in Zurich/visit the company website.

The company has clients which include Novartis and Zurich Insurance as well as lesser known names amongst its 250+ clients worldwide.

In a move to contain coronavirus, Switzerland last week temporarily banned events with more than 1,000 people, which has made planning difficult for companies such as ABB, Bell Food Group and others.

05.03.2020 – China issues an update on the coronavirus

The researchers, from Peking University`s School of Life Sciences and the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, cautioned that their analysis examined a limited range of data.

Follow-up studies of larger data sets are needed to better understand the virus and its evolution. Read more here

05.03.2020 – Medical Certificates requested by healthy people for medical insurance or for work

People who have a need to be off work or to confirm their health were reporting to the accident and emergency wards of Zurich’s city hospitals Triemli and Waid.

The majority had been travelling to a coronavirus high-risk area recently and the hospitals advised them to “take up the matter with their employer”.

They cannot issue medical certificates for people without symptoms.

05.03.2020 – H&M Employee tests positive – store closed for deep clean

The staff member felt ill, went to the doctor  and was tested and then on hearing the results advised her employer. H&M acted quickly to deep clean the store and other staff were informed. A public statement was issued for customers advising that if they had been in the store and with a member of staff for more than 15 minutes, they should observe themselves. If symptoms occur to contact their medical or the national hotline.

COVID-19 - Coronavirus - Vaud - First death reported

05.03.2020 – First confirmed death in Switzerland due to Covid-19 Coronavirus in Vaud 

Switzerland recorded its first death attributed to the coronavirus; a 74-year-old woman from the canton of Vaud.

The woman had been hospitalised at Lausanne’s University Hospital in the canton of Vaud since Tuesday, police said. She was a high-risk patient suffering from a chronic disease, authorities added.

Our sympathies go to her family at this time. 

To read more on the Federal Office of Public Health website 

So far, at least 19 people have contracted the coronavirus in the canton of Zurich.

The Health Department continues to allow events with fewer than 1,000 people but the Federal authorities have requested organisers of events with more than 150 participants should consult the cantonal authorities before the event.

In Zurich, however, no special permit is required until further notice.

05.03.2020 – Zurich nightclub owners take extra precautions

The Zurich Bar & Club Commission (BCK) in a message to its members advised them to:

  • Create good and easily accessible hygienic stations
  • Create a register to include personal details at the entrance so that the chain of related and possible other infected people can be tracked.
  • To not admit anyone who is sniffing, coughing or who has an obvious cold.

05.03.2020 – Zurich hotel owners facing tough market conditions

Following a record year in 2019, Zürich Tourism provided an update saying current overnight stays are collapsing and not all hotels are affected equally.

Heavy discounting for breaks and overnight stays are happening already.

A number of visitors who want to travel to Zurich and stay as a family are looking to self-service apartments as an alternative to reduce their own personal risks. 

05.03.2020 – University of Zurich closes department and building

Ten members of the University of Zurich are infected with the coronavirus and are being treated. They all were from the Centre for Dentistry which must cease operations within 10 days because of the total staff numbers who need to self-quarantine.

Building Y27 of the Institute for Mathematics on the Irchel campus will be closed until March 22 due to infections at the institute.

Those who stayed there between March 2nd and 5th should stay at home and work from there. All courses taking place in the building have been canceled.

04.03.2020 – 5 pm: Infections with the new coronavirus have been confirmed by the National Reference Centre for Emerging Viral Diseases in Geneva: 87 persons

All those infected with the virus have been placed in isolation. The public health authorities are contacting people who have been in close contact with those infected.

Reports of diseases from: the cantons:

Aargau, Basel Land, Basel Stadt, Bern, Fribourg, Geneva, Graubünden, Jura, Lucerne, Neuchâtel, Schwyz, St. Gallen, Ticino, Vaud, Valais, Zug, Zurich and from the Principality of Liechtenstein.

Suspect cases were tested negative (all laboratories combined): more than 3000 persons

A number of people are in quarantine in their canton of residence. They must stay at home and avoid contact with other people.

The federal government, the cantons and healthcare providers are prepared.

Testing for the new coronavirus has been intensified in people presenting flu-like symptoms.

The Infoline is staffed 24 hours daily in German, French, Italian and English.
Travellers and cross-border commuters are being provided with advice at the border and at airports on what to do if symptoms appear (shortness of breath, cough or high temperature).

The federal government is working closely with the cantonal health authorities with regard to all measures.

There are no travel restrictions for entry into Switzerland. 

To read more on the Federal Office of Public Health website 

04.03.2020 – Lufthansa and Swiss report 150 airplanes unused

Lufthansa reported in Germany that both Lufthansa and Swiss had been hit hard by the coronavirus. Lufthansa’s share price has declined and the company is considering enforced holidays, possible short-time working and the cancellation of some routes or scheduled connections.

Included in the adjusted schedule is the new Swiss route from Zurich to Osaka. 

04.03.2020 – Givaudan employee tests positive – Head Office to shut

Givaudan’s headquarters in Kemptthal will be closed following an employe becoming infected with the COVID-19 Coronavirus. The company decided to place all 400 employees on home working as a precautionary measure. The infected person had recently returned from abroad before developing symptoms of the coronavirus. 

The infection affects all 400 Head Office employees including those who work in research and development or the laboratory. 

Read the full story on Reuters

04.03.2020 – 44 children off school – Spreitenbach – just outside Zurich

The children and 8 of their teachers are now in quarantine for the next two weeks. It results from a kindergarten teacher picking up the coronavirus during a family visit to northern Italy.

Parents and siblings must also stay at home as nearly all employers request the working parents to “go home.” It is tough on young children who have upcoming birthdays because they cannot celebrate with school friends. 

Authorities in Basel are set to meet this week to discuss the possibility of closing schools after the school holidays from March 6th. No news of action from other school authorities.

03.03.2020 – Zurich nightclub owners unhappy at latest Health Department of the Canton of Zurich advisory

Events with less than 1000 people are still allowed, there has been no change to the Federal advisory. 

The canton does however call upon local residents to forego events which involve close contact with others, it is this which has upset club owners and managers.

To reduce the risk of transmission, the health department recommended avoidance of any event involving:

  1. Groups of people from who had travelled to the affected areas (Italy, China, South Korea, Iran).
  2. Events where people will come into close contact with others in closed rooms or areas i.e. clubs.
  3. Events which require attendance of non-residents at retirement or nursing homes. 

The second point could practically mean a temporary end to Zurich nightlife as people react to the advisory and apply their own common sense rules to avoid becoming infected.

To visit Kanton Zürich Gesundheitsdirektion  / Health Department of the Canton of Zurich

COVID-19 - Coronavirus - Zurich - 13 cases total - 4 new cases reported

03.03.2020 Coronavirus cases in the city and canton of Zurich

To date, over 400 suspected cases have been investigated in the canton of Zurich. Another 4 patients have now tested positive for the coronavirus.

The confirmation of the national reference laboratory in Geneva is still pending.

There are 2 women and 2 men between the ages of 22 and 28 years.

In all cases, we can still identify a clear source of infection:

  • Cases 10, 12 and 13 were infected in Case 5.
  • Case 11 was infected in case 3.

There are now a total of 13 cases in the Canton of Zurich. Most of those affected are doing so well that they would not have to be hospitalised if they had not been tested positive.

The cases confirm the experience in other countries that the disease is mostly mild, especially among young people.

However, there is a risk that young people with only weak symptoms will infect older people, for whom the disease can take a more severe course.

Based on this knowledge, the transmission of the coronavirus from young to older people and people with chronic diseases should be reduced as much as possible.

Due to the low risk to children and adolescents, school closings are still avoided.

This also prevents children from being looked after by grandparents at home.

Schools and lessons cannot be equated with events. For school events outside of class, however, the above criteria apply.

The Health Directorate of the Canton of Zurich pragmatically implements the Federal Council regulation on measures to combat the coronavirus in relation to events.

Zurich is the most populous canton with thousands of events; an examination in individual cases is therefore not possible.

The health department counts on the personal responsibility of the population and the organizers, which is why it only makes recommendations and does not issue any binding instructions.

The Health Directorate also recommends:

Avoid close contact between children and older or chronic sick people.

Visits to retirement and care centers and hospitals should be minimized and always take the appropriate precautionary measures (disinfection / hand washing, no contact, distance).

Hotlines available 24 hours

For medical questions related to the coronavirus, the Zurich medical hotline is: 

Telephone number 0800 33 66 55 

The Federal Office of Public Health offers a hotline on the phone number:

058 463 00 00.

Current information on the situation and implementation in Zurich city and the canton of Zurich can be read here. 

COVID-19 - Coronavirus - Hospitals endure face mask thefts and military has 1st case

03.03.2020 – Hospital visitors stealing masks and hand wash / disinfectant

The Swiss federal authorities have a new problem. Grab a free mask is the new game at many hospitals.

Many hospitals being considerate to visitors thought is a useful idea to have a public distribution point for masks for visitors. Unfortunately instead of taking one, members of the public were taking piles of them. 

The average is 4-5 minutes before a new box of masks are simply “just nicked!” 

Basel, Bern, St Gallen and Zurich are just some of the cities where the masks are stolen.

Hospitals took the precaution of placing free masks near reception, then noticed the hoverers taking one, then doing a walk by a few moments later to take more.

The individuals fail to realise many hospital reception areas have active CCTV. 

The worse ones are those who steal the complete hand wash / disinfectant units from the toilets. Yes, it has been reported as happening at a hospital in Zurich.

No country expects hospital visitors to act this way, stocks are available for CHF5-10 still in local shops. 

I would not like to be recognised as a thief and require A+E services in the coming months, the duty of care will be high and “Mr or Mrs Thief” will get a free enema in their care plan. 

03.03.2020 – Army has its first Coronavirus case 

An army member in the Swiss military has tested positive for the corona virus whilst serving in the Wangen area.

His room buddies have also be placed in quarantine in the base infirmary.

The soldiers were reportedly disappointed yet also thankful. 

New rules mean they have to sleep head to toe style in the beds to increase their social distance whilst sleeping.

Confined to the medical centre means no marching and not having to endure nights with others whose feet smell. 

COVID-19 - Coronavirus - Federal announcement 3 more rules

02.03.2020 – Government issue 3 new rules to prevent the spread of the coronavirus

The Swiss federal authorities have issued three new rules to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

  1. Avoid handshakes
  2. Dispose of used tissues in a sealed waste bin
  3. Phone Telmed Service or your the doctor’s office first rather than showing up in person. 

Link to Federal Office of Public Health announcement on new measures

02.03.2020 – Local companies being careful 

Local Zurich companies are being careful, employees advised against any unnecessary travel and visitor numbers on the trains appear to be lower than normal on routes such as Zurich – Luzern.

The University of Zurich cancelled some lessons from today due to the coronavirus.

Members of staff are following a honesty policy regarding travel to Italy. A number have alerted their HR teams and most are being told to self-isolate as a precautionary measure. A pure common sense decision because of the high number of Zurich residents who regularly travel to Italy and one with no risk to others.     

Few people if any are seen walking around with a facemask on. This means the advice of the Federal Office of Public Health is being heeded. 

The Zurich train station news bulletin sign did advise earlier today there were 7 new cases confirmed. More news on that later. 

Elsewhere, employees of the pharmaceutical manufacturer Lonza who have been in Italy recently are being tested for the coronavirus if they have a fever at their Visp site.

02.03.2020 – Swiss Re and other insurance companies – calm

Senior executives at Swiss Re continue to provide market updates and clear messaging during the coronavirus outbreak.

The economic losses from the coronavirus could be “substantial,” but most are not subject to cover by reinsurance products.

One potential exposure area for their reinsurance business relates to the many global life insurance clients in China and the USA.

The reinsurers are tracking closely the pandemic but at the moment the death rate is a fraction of the total annual serious influenza outbreak death total of up to 650,000 deaths a year. It is because of this that their assessments of risk coverage leave them in a calm state.

COVID-19 - Coronavirus -Increased testing capability announced

01.03.2020 –  Snap report as cantons review plans  and testing capacity increases

Some local governments, including canton Bern and the town of Chur in south-eastern Switzerland, have announced their own measures to the Coronavirus. Chur is banning all events with more than 50 participants, with some exceptions. 

29.02.2020 A Swiss group member reported a shortage of hand soap in Feldmeilen at their local shops, another on Saturday saw a run on tissues in Oerlikon as well as other household cleaning products. The two had left their shopping until mid-afternoon and had to go to the larger stores (one went to Zurich Hauptbahnhof) to get their supplies. Lidl was reportedly super busy in Kloten whereas the Migros in Seebach was empty and well-stocked. A typical Saturday shopping day in Zurich, no-one in a panic or stocking up too much, simply just bad ordering or delivery supply timing for hand soap and tissues!     

Airports in Zurich and Geneva seek to coordinate measures in the coming days, discussions on measures such as checks of passengers arriving from countries where the risk of infection is deemed high are just some of the matters being considered.

Sunday brought the news of students testing positive in the Berne/ Biel area which will result in the self-quarantine of their classmates for 14 days. The number of testing laboratories were also increased to boost capacity so now 1000 or so tests for the virus can be performed daily. We hope they and anyone else suffering at the moment will overcome the virus and return to good health. 

February 2020 Coronavirus Zurich Past Updates

28.02.2020 – Google – Alphabet Inc Employee report  

Google employee in Zurich office tests positive for coronavirus and Google restricts staff travel over outbreak concerns. The newspaper reports that the infected person had been in the Zurich office for a limited time before they had any symptoms.

Link to Daily Mail Article

COVID-19 - Coronavirus - Switzerland declares an emergency

28.02.2020 – Other Major News  

Switzerland today cancelled football matches, carnival celebrations, concerts and the Geneva International Motor Show in a drastic bid to stem the country’s new coronavirus outbreak in its early stages.

McLaren Automotive Ltd were quick to act taking to social media inviting you to join them for the #McLarenMotorShow broadcast live from MTC in Woking.

08:30 GMT / 09:30 CET on Tuesday 3 March 2020.

Full press conference including world premier of the next chapter in the McLaren LT story will be live here 

The Swiss government announced it was suspending all public and private events with more than 1,000 participants until at least March 15, invoking emergency powers to do so. 

This has resulted in the cancellation of a number of concerts including major names such as Alice Cooper and Carlos Santana. Some carnival events will also not go ahead this year so watch the news and read the local event bulletins.

Sam Fender’s Switzerland show is also cancelled due to Coronavirus outbreak. The ‘Dead Boys’ singer joins a long list of other musicians forced to cancel his show in Zurich for March 1st.

All football matches this weekend have been postponed, whilst the Swiss ice hockey league said matches would go ahead but without any supporters at the rink.

28.02.2020 – In Switzerland, 15 people have tested positive for the new virus. Overnight the figures were updated with an addition for Zurich. 

More than 100 people are in quarantine across Switzerland 

Confirmed cases in cantons include:

  • Ticino
  • Geneva
  • Zurich
  • Basel-City 

All have contracted the disease abroad and returned or travelled to Switzerland.

To the German language article written by NZZ online

( use translation tools such as Google Translate or Deepl for your own local language)

Group members report:

A number of colleagues or they themselves who have been to Italy or China recently are in self-isolation because the employer wants them to work from home. The period of homeworking is 7 to 10 days (different employers have their own policies).  

COVID-19 - Coronavirus - 1st confirmed case Zurich

27.02.2020Cantonal authorities have confirmed a 30-year-old woman, who traveled to Milan a week ago, had been infected by the coronavirus bringing the total cases in Switzerland to six.

The woman is hospitalised at Triemli and awaiting further test results from Geneva. Those people who she associated with are already in quarantine whilst a search and enquiries are being made as to others who she was in contact with since returning back to Switzerland.

She originally felt ill and was then examined by her house doctor which was against the health guidelines and advisory which has made the search for those she has been in contact with a little more difficult. 

Please read the full statement here.

27.02.2020 – Event across Switzerland are being cancelled and one huge one is the Engadin Ski marathon.

It is a classic event and one which many will have planned to participate in.

To overcome the disappointment many will have to eat more Engadiner Nusstorte. A calorific bomb worthy of respect and total personal guilt trip enjoyment!  

COVID-19 - Coronavirus - Pharmacy / Apotheke - some reporting short supply / no masks

26.02.2020 – A number of pharmacies were contacted to check availability of facemasks, one in Stadelhofen was sold out and did not know when it would get a new supply this week. Five others reported a shortage in stock due to a rush from people buying them after the weekend. Should you need a mask, they are still available but you may need to do some telephoning or walking. 

A pharmacist did advise that “they are not really stock items” so not having them does not mean they cannot get them. Most people simply walked into the pharmacy / Apotheke, asked him if he had some to sell and then walked out. They did not stay long enough for any explanation or to be told they could order and have it soon, in his words just like Amazon or Zalando!  

26 -02-2020 Geneva International Motor Show issued a statement saying it would be going ahead as scheduled from March 5-15. What is not known is how many will be visiting and how many car manufacturer staff will travel to the event. Geneva hotels are remaining tight lipped about their cancellation rates.

COVID-19 - Swiss step up precautions to prevent spread of coronavirus

24.02.2020 – As news from Italy became more serious the Swiss authorities have decided to increase controls and checks especially on the Swiss/Italian border. 

Tests for the Covid-19 virus are readily available and unlike other countries, the  testing centres are prepared for a surge in new test requests. 

At the start of the week, Monday 24th February, Interior Minister Alain Berset announced that the Swiss government were in regular contact with the various health authorities in neighbouring countries and beyond.

Federal and cantonal are aligned whilst he and the Federal authorities participate in the larger European health alarm and response system.

As of Monday the 24th Feb, less than 400 people had been tested but it was expected to grow in the coming weeks as school holidays end and people who have been away on business return back to Switzerland. 

The cross-border commuters are a concern as well which has prompted border guards to increase the number of vehicle checks. They total over 250,000 people who cross the border from France, Germany, Austria and Italy every day. It is a concern to be monitored closely but is not viewed by the Federal authorities as a major concern. 

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